April 2023 Charity Challenge: Blindfold Walks

Posted on: Monday 27th March 2023 by Jess Clayton

April Charity Challenge: Guide Dogs

Time for something a bit different for our April Charity Challenge. At the end of February, one of the Travel Village Group’s agents had a sudden bereavement in the family. Holiday Village travel professional, Tracy Metcalfe’s son Callum was born with Norrie Disease, and has been blind since birth. In 2016 he was matched with his first ever Guide Dog, Iggy, and their relationship provided Callum with a level of independence he’d never experienced before. Unfortunately, following a short illness, Iggy passed away.

Callum had this to say:

Everyone who has had a guide dog says they are life changing, and in my case this could not be more accurate. Between 2016 and now, I have moved out of my family home to university and lived on my own in student accommodation, got my degree in Computer Networks & Security, moved in with my girlfriend, got married, started working full-time and travelled to so many places during all of that (too many to list here). All of this would not have been possible without Iggy. She was always so ready to work, so excited and confident even when I wasn’t, she was quite literally my eyes, my knight in shining armour, my world.
She was the most incredible Guide Dog and companion for 7 years, by my side through every up and down in my life, always ready to work and always having her cheeky and playful personality to bring a smile to everyone who met her. Guide Dogs have been amazingly supportive throughout this difficult time.
We are now looking to raise £10,000 to name a Guide Dog puppy Iggy. It costs £50,000 to train a Guide Dog, and they rely completely on donations so we hope to be able to donate a good chunk towards a Guide Dog’s training. It is thanks to Guide Dogs that I now live the life I do, and we would like to not only give back to Guide Dogs, but also give someone else the chance to have their own life-changing Iggy.

We want to be able to support Callum’s ambitions to achieve his total, so our April Charity Challenge is two-fold:

Walk A Mile In Someone Else’s Shoes

Members of the team will be guided for a one-mile walk, by friends, family or colleagues; whilst being blindfolded. We plan to hold a main event for this along Blackpool’s Promenade, between North and Central Pier, on 18th April 2023. It’s a busy stretch of the Promenade, and, whilst flat, will create many obstacles and challenges for the walkers and guides. As the Travel Village Group network spans the entire country (and beyond!), we also hope to see members of the team carrying out their own guided walks locally.

Blindfolded Guided Walk Up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)

On 24th April 2023, Jess Clayton (Group Content Manager) will be hiking up the Llanberis route on Yr Wyddfa. It’s a trek of over 7km, with 975 metres of ascent, over incredibly uneven terrain. Jess will be blindfolded the whole way, and will be guided by Guide Dogs Trainer, Yvonne Robinson (who also worked alongside Callum and Iggy!).

To support Team TVG, Guide Dogs UK, and Callum’s fundraising efforts, please donate here.

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